Getting your grill barbecue-ready

Memorial Day is coming up and it’s time to break out that grill.

Experts at the Lihu‘e Home Depot conducted a grilling seminar yesterday to explain the differences in grills and the drills that need to be followed once one is purchased.

“Most of the people who come in already have a brand in mind,” said Gardening Department Supervisor John Bolton. “One of the biggest things is gas versus charcoal. A lot of them think that you can’t get the same flavor with a gas grill that you can with a charcoal grill. A lot of times just sticking in a smoker box with hickory will do the same trick.”

For the most part, when choosing a grill, things to consider are who you’ll be grilling for, what you will be grilling and the type of grilling surface you want.

“There are all different sizes. If you’re cooking for a big family, you’d get a different grill than you would if it was just for yourself,” Bolton said.

Once you’ve decided on that, there are a few features to look for, courtesy of the experts at Home Depot.

Buying a grill

• Conduct a “wiggle test.”

“You just grab it and kind of give it a tug. If it’s nice and sturdy, you know it’s going to last in your backyard,” Bolton said.

• Lift up the grates and check out the burner.

“Usually this is what judges how the heat will be distributed. That way you have heat all across the grill instead of in patches,” Bolton said.

• Inspect the “flavor bars,” if there are any. The flavor bars catch all the juices that add to the aroma and flavor.

• Lastly, check out the manufacturer of the grill. Some offer 24-hour support if something goes awry with the grill.

Grill safety

There are safety precautions when firing up a grill; they vary from gas to charcoal.

Gas grill:

• Never light any grill indoors.

• Make sure the grill is at least 10 feet away from any structure.

• Keep children away from the grill when in use or cooling. The same goes for charcoal grills.

• Check tubes, connectors and hoses.

“Inspect the connections to the tanks,” Bolton said. “You can just take some dishwashing liquid and water and run it across the tubes to see if any bubbles come up. You don’t want any leaks. You don’t want any fireballs near your house. That would make a really bad Memorial Day.”

• Never leave the grill unattended once lit.

• When in storage, keep gas containers upright and away from heat sources and flammable liquids.

Charcoal grills:

• Never light or burn charcoal indoors.

• Never pour lighter fluid on charcoal that is already lit.

Bolton also suggested keeping a fire extinguisher handy.

“It’s good to have just to be on the safe side. Just in case something were to happen,” he said.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or


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